Tag Archive: Tom Byrne

Rush Holt: Rocket Scientist & Mechanic & Jeopardy Winner & Jeopardy Host

I collect winning anecdotes about my old boss, Representative (he prefers it to Congressman) Rush Holt, this is a new favorite. Can’t help it. He’s a cool dude. Here’s a new one, from my friend, Deputy COS/District Director Sarah Steward:

You’d know that you work for a good guy if he was out of the car before you knew it, kneeling in a puddle, changing your flat tire on the side of the road in Trenton without making you feel dumb even though your own foolish driving mistake was to blame for the popped tire. If, you know, such a theoretical thing ever happened. In unrelated news: I work for a good guy.

So right. Last night, Rush was a hands-on trainer at Princeton meeting – hosted by ACLU-NJ, Garden State Equality & the Unitarians- teaching how to lobby legislators to vote to override Christie’s veto on marriage. You don’t often find people in Holt’s position giving out the secrets of what makes people like him, or legislators, tick. Very useful.

Jeopardy: We don’t usually note fundraisers here, but one I want to is Rush Holt’s Jeopardy fundraiser Thursday night. Holt, 5-time Jeopardy winner and the man who reduced the mighty IBM supercomputer Watson to a helpless little Atari in Jeopardy, will play Alex Trebek to a bunch of smartypantses.

Contestants:

Tom Byrne (former Dem state chair)

Marie Corfield, LD-16 Assembly candidate, former Jeopardy contestant for reals

Lizette Delgado-Polanco, SEIU ED & Buono’s pick for DSC vice-chair

Princeton Prof. Jeffrey Eugenides Pulitzer Prize winning author

Gov. Jim Florio (defending his title as 2012 winner)

Professor Sean Wilentz, Bancroft Prize-winning historian on the Princeton faculty

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, NJDSC chair

Judges:

Gov. Richard J. Codey

Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, chair Buono for Governor  

This event’s always fun, the contestants fun. And I’m pumped my candidate and friend Marie Corfield is playing. But I’m a mass of jelly to meet one of my favorite authors, Jeffrey Eugenides, now on the Princeton faculty teaching creative writing, and the author of Middlesex (which shed much light for me on what life can be like for an intersex person, like one of my friends is) and captured 1967 Detroit perfectly, the year I moved there. And The Virgin Suicides, so good.

Got a cool fundraiser coming up? Hit us up in comments.  

All This Weekend – We’re Playing Rush Holt’s Jeopardy

Last weekend, I attended maybe the most boisterous fundraiser I’ve ever seen: Rush Holt’s live Jeopardy game, with a collection of some of the most well-known people in NJ politics all trying to answer in the form of a question every item of formidable trivia dreamed up by Holt’s campaign staff and the rocket scientist himself. All in the name of fun, all to benefit the campaign of Holt; physicist congressman, 5-time Jeopardy winner, and the only member of Congress to vanquish the IBM supercomputer Watson I was the dork in the back half-jumping out of my seat on every question, but not blurting out loud as the entire audience was instructed to do. I was sitting with Marie Corfield, a Jeopardy veteran herself.

Among Holt’s players: CD3 candidate Shelley Adler, Asm Dan Benson, Sen. Linda Greenstein, Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel, Princeton professor Sean Wilentz, former state Dem chair Tom Byrne and current chair John Wisniewski and Gov. Jim Florio. Judges were Lambertville mayor Dave DelVecchio, NJEA’s Ginger Gold Schnitzer, and Greta Kiernan, former Assemblywoman and Jeopardy contestant. Rush Holt played both Art Fleming and Alex Trebek.

Smart batch of people. Aggressive players. But playing purely for fun, for a congressman, my former boss, who was as loose as I’ve ever seen him. High point for me was Holt doing Dana Carvey doing, well, you’ll see …

All weekend, I’m going to post the questions I can (some are still top-secret). Want to play? Resist the internet and give us your answer in the form of a Question.

Start you off with an easy category. They get tougher from here. We’ll be posting questions all weekend. Please remember to phrase your answer in the form of a Question:

All This Weekend – We’re Playing Rush Holt’s Jeopardy

Last weekend, I attended maybe the most boisterous fundraiser I’ve ever seen: Rush Holt’s live Jeopardy game, with a collection of some of the most well-known people in NJ politics all trying to answer in the form of a question every item of formidable trivia dreamed up by Holt’s campaign staff and the rocket scientist himself. All in the name of fun, all to benefit the campaign of Holt; physicist congressman, 5-time Jeopardy winner, and the only member of Congress to vanquish the IBM supercomputer Watson I was the dork in the back half-jumping out of my seat on every question, but not blurting out loud as the entire audience was instructed to do. I was sitting with Marie Corfield, a Jeopardy veteran herself.

Among Holt’s players: CD3 candidate Shelley Adler, Asm Dan Benson, Sen. Linda Greenstein, Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel, Princeton professor Sean Wilentz, former state Dem chair Tom Byrne and current chair John Wisniewski and Gov. Jim Florio. Judges were Lambertville mayor Dave DelVecchio, NJEA’s Ginger Gold Schnitzer, and Greta Kiernan, former Assemblywoman and Jeopardy contestant. Rush Holt played both Art Fleming and Alex Trebek.

Smart batch of people. Aggressive players. But playing purely for fun, for a congressman, my former boss, who was as loose as I’ve ever seen him. High point for me was Holt doing Dana Carvey doing, well, you’ll see …

All weekend, I’m going to post the questions I can (some are still top-secret). Want to play? Resist the internet and give us your answer in the form of a Question.

Start you off with an easy category. They get tougher from here. We’ll be posting questions all weekend. Please remember to phrase your answer in the form of a Question:

Rush Holt hosts high-stakes Jeopardy game

CATEGORY:       Smartypantses

ANSWER:          Pretty much what only rocket scientists can do

QUESTION:       What is, Star-studded Jeopardy fundraisers?

My Congressman IS a Rocket Scientist

This … is … JEOPARDY!

There’s a reason Rush Holt’s constituents drive around CD12 with this bumpersticker, why it’s such a hot commodity. Only research physicist in Congress. Advocate for education and research funding. Forward-thinker. 5-time Jeopardy winner. Only man in Congress to beat IBM’s Watson in a head-to-supercomputer Jeopardy matchup.

But New Jersey may have more than one tough mind ready to play. And Sunday, Holt is hosting some of the smartest people in New Jersey politics in a hot game of Jeopardy.

Still tix left for Jeopardy 2012 Sunday 4-6pm RSVP/more info.

Who’s playing?

Shelley Adler, Candidate for US Congress, NJ-3

Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson

B. Thomas Byrne, Jr.

Gov. Jim Florio

Senator Linda Greenstein

Jeff Tittel, Director, New Jersey Sierra Club

Professor Sean Wilentz

John S. Wisniewski, Chair, NJ Democratic State Committee

Who’s judging?

Mayor David DelVecchio

Ginger Gold Schnitzer                  

Greta Kiernan, former Assemblywoman & Jeopardy! contestant

I promise you, none of these people want to miss any questions in front of this crowd. Expect high-stakes competition from some of NJ’s best and brightest. I’m really looking forward to this, and personally I’ll be cheering hardest for Shelley Adler, a very bright woman running to retake CD3 from a former football player who wasn’t ready for the job when he he was elected to the House, and still isn’t. But then, I think anybody on that list could beat Jon Runyan in a quiz game with half their I.Q. tied behind their back.

Here’s all the details. RSVPs to Annie@RushHolt.com or (609) 799-0800.

         

Dueling Quotes of the Day

We are chock full of one liners that just make you think today.  We can file this first one under the Too much information category , with Former NJ Governor Brendan Byrne speaking at the dedication of the World War II monument yesterday:

“The stuff they put in our food, to prevent us from getting excited about girls?” said the 84-year-old Byrne. “It’s beginning to work.”

Councilman Steve Lipski apparently didn’t want Byrne to get the spotlight alone, so he gave us this:

“Everybody has been tremendous in this,” Lipski said. “I’m almost speechless because I’m so touched. I almost feel a little bit like Jimmy Stewart in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ when he was on wits’ end and was about to jump off the bridge and the town passed the cup around.”

Yes Councilman, it is exactly like It’s a Wonderful life except for when the towns people passed around the cup, Jimmy Stewart’s character didn’t pee on them from the bridge.

Absent Lautenberg garners PCDO endorsement

Yesterday evening, I had the chance to attend the PCDO US Senate endorsement meeting. Congressman Rob Andrews showed up as promised, while Frank Lautenberg sent Princeton Assemblyman Reed Gusciora as a surrogate. First Congressman Andrews and then Assemblyman Gusciora spoke for about five minutes and took questions from the audience.

As expected, Senator Lautenberg won the endorsement vote, but by a surprisingly large margin. Of the 30 voting members present, Lautenberg won 27 votes to Andrews’s 3. The turnout was low for a PCDO endorsement meeting; less than two months earlier, 240 members voted to endorse in a contested local election, and 67 participated in a Mercer County Freeholder endorsement vote in February.

Andrews handled himself very well despite a skeptical and occasionally hostile audience. While Assemblyman Gusciora did a fine job in place of Senator Lautenberg, it was a shame the Senator elected not to attend the meeting. It baffles me that the Senator would pass up the chance to speak to some of his strongest, most vocal supporters merely because he would have to share the room with Congressman Andrews.

Lots more below the fold.

Faxing it in

Fmr. Dem State Chair Tom Byrne has decided he will not challenge U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg in a primary and he had an interesting way of spreading the word…

Byrne faxed a statement to the Marriot Hotel in Trenton announcing he would not run, where prominent Democratic politicians are holding a rally to demonstrate their solidarity behind Lautenberg.  Current Democratic State Chairman Joe Cryan read Byrne’s letter to the crowd.

Rumors continue to circulate about whether Lautenberg will face a primary challenge from Congressman Rob Andrews, who did not attend today’s announcement rally.

Uncertainty in the Democratic Senate Primary

It looks like Lautenberg is taking the prospects of a potential primary challenger seriously. This afternoon he’s kicking off his campaign and he’ll be joined by Governor Corzine, DSC chair Joe Cryan, and various members of Congress.

His potential opponents for now appear to be hedging their bets. Tom Byrne has said he’s still not decided on whether or not he will run. And missing from the Lautenberg event today? Congressman Rob Andrews.

Meanwhile, some insiders are circulating news articles from Lautenberg’s 2002 Senate campaign, pointing to his support for the resolution to use military force against Iraq — presumably to gauge the reaction to such revelations before deciding whether to jump into the race. (New York Times, Oct 12, 2002):

Lautenberg Shifts Stance And Backs Iraq Resolution

Frank R. Lautenberg, the Democratic nominee for Senate, said today that he unequivocally stands behind the Senate resolution giving President Bush the authority to act against Iraq, as he and the Republican candidate, Douglas R. Forrester, spent the day focusing on the potential war.

Tom Byrne’s polling call explicitly mentioned his consistent opposition to the Iraq War, though Congressman Rob Andrews supported it from the beginning.